Posted by: episystechpubs | June 14, 2013

Editor’s Corner: Allonyms, ananyms, and anonyms

A very joyous Friday to you! On Monday, I have a treat for you from the third person in our editing group: Jackie Solano. Jackie provides our Technical Publications department with weekly “Nifty Nuggets” from our department’s handbook. She now desires a wider audience, so look for her first Editor’s Corner next week!

As for today, with some help from my friends at Wikipedia and Merriam-Webster, I have another three “nym” words for you: allonym, ananym, and anonym.

· allonym: a work published under the name of a person other than the author

From Greek allos (other) + nym (name or word)

Example (From

An example of a work written under an allonym is The Federalist, also known as The Federalist Papers. This collection of 85 essays about the U.S. Constitution was written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in 1787-1788. They chose to write under the name Publius in honor of a Roman official for his role in setting up the Roman republic."

· ananym: a pseudonym consisting of the real name written backwards

Latin, from Greek ana– (up, back, again) + –nym


· Oprah Winfrey (media company “Harpo Productions”)

· Amos Heilicher (owner of Soma Records)

· Beatles (Seltaeb merchandising company)

· anonym: a false name, a pseudonym

French anonyme, from Greek anōnumos (without name)


· Mark Twain is the anonym of Samuel L. Clemens

· Lewis Carroll is the anonym of Charles Dodgson

· The Brontë sisters each used anonyms to avoid the prejudice against female writers at the time:

o Anne Brontë – Acton Bell

o Charlotte Brontë – Currer Bell

o Emily Brontë – Ellis Bell

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